Predators are a threat to your chickens year-round, but they are especially dangerous in the winter and early spring months when food is scarce. However, you and your chickens are not helpless. You can take steps to protect your chickens from predators to ensure that they never have to experience an attack.
Know the predators in your area
Understanding the habits of the common predators in your area can help you better protect your chickens from them. Thankfully, Chickens for Backyards has several articles pertaining to the most common chicken predators. You can find them below:
Hire a bodyguard
Roosters and livestock guard dogs (LGDs) can act as great bodyguards for your chickens. They can be the last line of defense when all of the fencing and wiring you’ve installed still doesn’t keep predators away from your chickens. Both roosters and LGDs can warn chickens when predators are near and then fight off those predators to ensure they never get near your flock.
Bury your chicken wire
When constructing a run, make sure you bury the chicken wire at least 2 feet deep (although 4 feet is ideal). This will prevent predators from digging under the wire and getting into your run or coop. Additionally, you should also frequently check your chicken wire for holes to prevent predators from slipping through.
Cover the run
Chicken wire can protect your chickens from land predators, but what about those in the sky? Hawks and owls can easily swoop down and attack your chickens. While a rooster or livestock guard dog can fend off against these aerial predators, a well-covered run can add extra protection. You can cover it with chicken wire to ensure sunlight still gets through and then cover some areas with tarp sheet to provide extra shade.